Dangote Group has advised African leaders to unanimously adopt the fixing of their infrastructure deficit, saying with this, intra-trade amongst them would be more efficient.
Speaking on the sidelines of the ongoing Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF), Rabiu Umar, the Commercial Operations Officer, Dangote Group, said aside from the fixing of infrastructure deficit, ease of payments and settlements, are sacrosant for trade to thrive among African countries.
In the course of his interview on Arise TV, where he made this known, Umar maintained that to realise the benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreements, trade deficit, settlement, and ease of payments challenges must be properly addressed.
“It’s a very difficult process. It is not just about the road transport or the quality of the roads you have. We don’t have a rail system and of course, you know, road transportation is very expensive. The second part is the tariffs, the systems, and the process, the bureaucracy.
“So for us to get to where we need to get to, I think the key condition is to remove these barriers to trade, the biggest one being infrastructure, you need the infrastructure to move goods across the second part of it, you need to cut out the red tape, from a diplomatic perspective, from a customs perspective, from even a payment settlement perspective, which is one of the things the Afreximbank has done with the settlement system among the African countries meaning that you are kind of dollarising the economies of these countries,” he stated in an interview on Arise TV monitored by unmaskng.com.
Continuing, ecstatic Umar noted that since AfCTA has come into play, there has been a renewed interest in Dangote Group and Nigeria from other African countries.
“The trade barriers highlights a lot of issues around infrastructure, around diplomacy, around ports. For example, if you take the port situation, you may get your goods to the port and it takes such a long time. If I give the example of Nigeria to get them out of the country or into the country.
“I was on a panel Thursday and someone from South Africa said it’s cheaper to move goods from Durban to China than from Durban to Cape Town. So, the challenges are not just related to a particular region, they’re all across.
“Bringing down these barriers will mean that goods and services can move much more freely and that will definitely give us a competitive advantage on the continent from one country to another,” he said as he explained what he meant by the renewed interest.